Biodiversity refers to the variety and variability of life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the genetic and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity is greater near the equator, the result of the warm climate and high primary productivity. Biodiversity is not distributed evenly on Earth, is richest in the tropics; these tropical forest ecosystems cover less than 10 percent of earth's surface, contain about 90 percent of the world's species. Marine biodiversity is highest along coasts in the Western Pacific, where sea surface temperature is highest, in the mid-latitudinal band in all oceans. There are latitudinal gradients in species diversity. Biodiversity tends to cluster in hotspots, has been increasing through time, but will be to slow in the future. Rapid environmental changes cause mass extinctions. More than 99.9 percent of all species that lived on Earth, amounting to over five billion species, are estimated to be extinct. Estimates on the number of Earth's current species range from 10 million to 14 million, of which about 1.2 million have been documented and over 86 percent have not yet been described.
More in May 2016, scientists reported that 1 trillion species are estimated to be on Earth with only one-thousandth of one percent described. The total amount of related DNA base pairs on Earth is estimated at 5.0 x 1037 and weighs 50 billion tonnes. In comparison, the total mass of the biosphere has been estimated to be as much as 4 TtC. In July 2016, scientists reported identifying a set of 355 genes from the Last Universal Common Ancestor of all organisms living on Earth; the age of the Earth is about 4.54 billion years. The earliest undisputed evidence of life on Earth dates at least from 3.5 billion years ago, during the Eoarchean Era after a geological crust started to solidify following the earlier molten Hadean Eon. There are microbial mat fossils found in 3.48 billion-year-old sandstone discovered in Western Australia. Other early physical evidence of a biogenic substance is graphite in 3.7 billion-year-old meta-sedimentary rocks discovered in Western Greenland. More in 2015, "remains of biotic life" were found in 4.1 billion-year-old rocks in Western Australia.
According to one of the researchers, "If life arose quickly on Earth.. it could be common in the universe."Since life began on Earth, five major mass extinctions and several minor events have led to large and sudden drops in biodiversity. The Phanerozoic eon marked a rapid growth in biodiversity via the Cambrian explosion—a period during which the majority of multicellular phyla first appeared; the next 400 million years included repeated, massive biodiversity losses classified as mass extinction events. In the Carboniferous, rainforest collapse led to a great loss of animal life; the Permian–Triassic extinction event, 251 million years ago, was the worst. The most recent, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, occurred 65 million years ago and has attracted more attention than others because it resulted in the extinction of the dinosaurs; the period since the emergence of humans has displayed an ongoing biodiversity reduction and an accompanying loss of genetic diversity. Named the Holocene extinction, the reduction is caused by human impacts habitat destruction.
Conversely, biodiversity positively impacts human health in a number of ways, although a few negative effects are studied. The United Nations designated 2011–2020 as the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity. 1916 - The term biological diversity was used first by J. Arthur Harris in "The Variable Desert," Scientific American, JSTOR 6182: "The bare statement that the region contains a flora rich in genera and species and of diverse geographic origin or affinity is inadequate as a description of its real biological diversity." 1975 - The term natural diversity was introduced 1980 - Thomas Lovejoy introduced the term biological diversity to the scientific community in a book.. It became used. 1985 -The contracted form biodiversity was coined by W. G. Rosen 1985 - The term "biodiversity" appears in the article, "A New Plan to Conserve the Earth's Biota" by Laura Tangley. 1988 - The term biodiversity first appeared in a publication. The present - the term has achieved widespread use. "Biodiversity" is most used to replace the more defined and long established terms, species diversity and species richness.
Biologists most define biodiversity as the "totality of genes and ecosystems of a region". An advantage of this definition is that it seems to describe most circumstances and presents a unified view of the traditional types of biological variety identified: taxonomic diversity ecological diversity morphological diversity functional diversity This multilevel construct is consistent with Datman and Lovejoy. An explicit definition consistent with this interpretation was first given in a paper by Bruce A. Wilcox commissioned by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources for the 1982 World National Parks Conference. Wilcox's definition was "Biological diversity is the variety of life forms...at all levels of biologi
Puebla the Free and Sovereign State of Puebla is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 217 municipalities and its capital is the city of Puebla, it is located in East-Central Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Veracruz to the north and east, Hidalgo, México and Morelos to the west, Guerrero and Oaxaca to the south; the origins of the state lie in the city of Puebla, founded by the Spanish in this valley in 1531 to secure the trade route between Mexico City and the port of Veracruz. By the end of the 18th century, the area had become a colonial province with its own governor, which would become the State of Puebla, after the Mexican War of Independence in the early 19th century. Since that time the area around the capital city, has continued to grow economically through industry, despite being the scene of a number of battles, the most notable of which being the Battle of Puebla. Today, the state is one of the most industrialized in the country, but since most of its development is concentrated in Puebla and other cities, many of its rural areas are poor, forcing many to migrate away to places such as Mexico City and the United States.
Culturally, the state is home to the China Poblana, mole poblano, active literary and arts scenes and festivals such as Cinco de Mayo, Ritual of Quetzalcoatl, Day of the Dead celebrations and Carnival. It is home to five major indigenous groups: Nahuas, the Totonacs, the Mixtecs, the Popolocas and the Otomi, which can be found in the far north and the far south of the state; the state is in the central highlands of Mexico between the Sierra Nevada and the Sierra Madre Oriental. It has a triangular shape with its narrow part to the north, it borders the states of Veracruz, Guerrero, State of Mexico and Hidalgo. The state occupies 33,919 km2, ranking 20th of 31 states in size, has 4,930 named communities. Most of its mountains belong to the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt; the first is locally called the Sierra Norte del Puebla, entering the state from the northwest and breaks up into the smaller chains of Sierra de Zacapoaxtla, Sierra de Huauchinango, Sierra de Teziutlán, Sierra de Tetela de Ocampo, Sierra de Chignahuapan and Sierra de Zacatlán, although these names may vary among localities.
Some of the highest elevations include Apulco, Chignahuapan and Tlatlaquitepec. The highest elevations are the volcanoes Pico de Orizaba or Citlaltepetl, Popocatépetl, Iztaccíhuatl and Malinche which are found on the state's borders with Veracruz, Mexico State and Tlaxcala respectively. In the south of the state, the major elevations are the Sierra de Atenahuacán, Zapotitlán, Lomerio al Suroeste and the Sierra de Tehuacán. Dividing much of the state from Veracruz is a small chain of mountains called the Sierra Madre del Golfo; the natural geography of the state subdivides into the Huasteco Plateau, Llanuras y Lomeríos zone, Lagos y Volcanes del Anáhuac, Llanuras y Sierras de Querétaro e Hidalgo, Cordillera Costera del Sur, Mixteca Alta, Sierras y Valles Guerrenses, Sierras Centrales de Oaxaca, Sierras Orientales and Sur de Puebla. The Huasteco Plateau and the Llanuras y Lomeríos zone are located in the north and northeast, with the Lagos y Volcanes del Anáhuc in the center and north. Together, they account for over 50% of the state.
The east and northeast are occupies by the Chiconquiaco and Llanudras y Sierras de Querétaro e Hidalgo areas and account for about three percent of the state. The Cordillera del Sur and Mixteca Alta are located in the west and southwest covering less than 2.5% of the state. The Sur de Puebla is in the southwest and accounts for 26% of the state. Other southern subregions include the Sierras y Valles Guerrerenses, the Sierras Centrales de Oaxaca and the Sierras Orientales. Together, they account for about 15% of the state; the hydrology of Puebla is formed by three major river systems. One is based on the Atoyac River, which originates with the melting runoff of the Halos, Telapón and Papagayo mountains along with those from the Iztaccihuatl volcano and waters from the Zahuapan River, which enters from Tlaxcala; this river receives further water from tributaries such as the Acateno, Amacuzac and Cohetzala. The river has one major dam called Manuel Avila Camacho; this river flows west to the Pacific Ocean.
The next system empties into the Gulf of Mexico and consists of the Pantepec, Necaxa, San Pedro/Zun, Apulco, Cedro Viejo, Martínez de la Torre and other rivers on the east side of the state. This system has two major dams called the Mazatepec; the third is based on the large number of small lakes fresh water springs as well as some volcanically heated springs. The best known of these include Chignahuapan, Agua Azúl, Cisnaqullas, Garcicrespo and Rancho Colorado. Lakes include Chapulco, San Bernardino, Lagunas Epatlán, Almoloyan, Pahuatlán, Las Minas and Tecuitlapa. Puebla has many different climates owing to its range of altitudes, it has an average temperature of 16 °C but this varies locally. There is a rainy season from May until October with an overall precipitation of 801 mm; the state has eleven different climate zones. The centre and south of the state has a temperate and semi-moist climate, with an average temperature of 15 °C and 858 mm of rainfall; the southwest has a warm to hot and semi-mois
San Luis Potosí
San Luis Potosí the Free and Sovereign State of San Luis Potosí, is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 58 municipalities and its capital city is San Luis Potosí City, it is located in North-Central Mexico. It is bordered by 8 other Mexican states, making it the state with the most borders with other neighboring states; the northern borders are with Nuevo Coahuila. In addition to the capital city, the state's largest cities include Ciudad Valles, Matehuala and Tamazunchale. In pre-Columbian times the territory now occupied by the state of San Luis Potosí contained the cultural areas of Mesoamerica and Aridoamerica, its northern and western-central areas were inhabited by the Chichimeca tribes. These indigenous groups were nomadic hunter-gatherers. Although most natives died during the Spanish settlements, huasteco groups still live, along with pame and náhuatl although their numbers are small. In 1592, gold and silver deposits were discovered.
Spanish miners established the first town known as “San Luis de Mezquitique”, modern location of the capital San Luis Potosí. This led to the first mayor being appointed, Juan de Oñate; the State was given the name "San Luis Rey", King Saint Louis, in honor of Louis IX of France, "Potosí" because the wealth of the state compared to the rich silver mines in Potosí, Bolivia. Settlers hoped of rivaling the Bolivian mine wealth, but this was never accomplished. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Franciscans and Jesuits arrived in the area and settled began to build churches and buildings, many of which are still standing and have been turned into museums and universities. In mid-1821, after the Independence of Mexico, General Jose Antonio Echavarri intimidated and threatened the Mayor and the City Council to surrender the city of San Luis to the Army of the Three Guarantees of Agustín de Iturbide, who at the time was emperor of Mexico, they submitted to his demand, as there was no way to resist, thus proclamation of Independence of San Luis Potosí was declared.
The first Constitution of San Luis Potosí was written on October 16, 1826, this was in effect until 1835 when Congress proclaimed it centralist. At this point, local legislatures disappeared and state governors were appointed by the central government; this situation lasted until the promulgation of the 1857 Constitution. The state participation in the Mexican–American War in the years of 1846-1847 gave it the name "San Luis de la Patria", Saint Louis of the Motherland, for having contributed important leaders and ideas during the struggle with the United States. During the Reform War, state involvement was prominent, during the French Intervention in 1863, the city of San Luis Potosí became the capital of the country under the order of President Benito Juárez. During the regime of Maximilian, San Luis became an important location; the city was held by the Imperialists until late 1866. In that year the telegraph line was opened between San Luis Potosí and Mexico City, which opened up communication lines and helped begin the industrialization of the state.
The state lies on the Mexican Plateau, with the exception of the eastern part of the state, where the tableland breaks down into the tropical valley of the Tampaon River. The surface of the plateau is comparatively level, with some low mountainous wooded ridges; the Sierra Madre Oriental runs north and south through the state, separates the Mexican Plateau from the Gulf Coastal Plain to the east. The Sierra Madre Oriental is home to the Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests; the easternmost portion of the state lies on the Gulf Coastal Plain, covered by the Veracruz moist forests. The eastern part is included in the region referred to as "La Huasteca"; the Tampaón river and its tributaries drain the southeastern portion of the state. The northern and central portion of the state, including the capital, lie on an interior drainage basin which does not drain to the sea; the mean elevation is about 6,000 ft ensuring a temperate climate for the most part. The state lies within the arid zone of the north, while the southern half receiving a more liberal rainfall through the influence of the Nortes, which deliver significant amounts of rain.
The rainfall, however, is uncertain at the western and northern regions, much of the state does not have major rivers. The soil is fertile and in favorable seasons large crops of wheat, maize and cotton are grown on the uplands. In the low tropical valleys, coffee, tobacco and fruit are staple products. Stockraising is an important industry and hides and wool are exported. Fine cabinet and construction woods are made and exported to a limited extent. Potosí was' believed' to have enough gold to build a bridge between Spain. San Luis Potosí was therefore named after it. At one time San Luis Potosí ranked among the leading mining provinces of Mexico, but the revolts following independence resulted in a great decline in that industry; the area around Real de Catorce has some of the richest silver mines in the country. Other well-known silver min
Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests
The Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests are a subtropical coniferous forest ecoregion of northeastern and Central Mexico, extending into the state of Texas in the United States. The Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests are found at elevations of 1,000–3,500 m above sea level in the Sierra Madre Oriental range, which runs north and south between the Gulf Coastal Plain to the east along the Gulf of Mexico, the Mexican Plateau to the west, they are found in the Sierra Norte de Puebla, adjacent to the southern Sierra Madre Oriental. The ecoregion covers an area of 65,600 km2; the southernmost forests transition to the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt pine-oak forests in central Puebla state, near the southern end of the Sierra Madre Oriental. The forests extend continuously along the range through the states of Veracruz, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Nuevo León, northern Puebla. North of Monterrey, the forests become discontinuous, extending as a series of sky islands through the states of Nuevo León and Coahuila, on into the Chisos and Davis mountains of the Big Bend region of western Texas.
Other sky islands can be found on the higher peaks of the mountain ranges rising from the Mexican Plateau to the west. The dominant species are many species of pine including Nelson pinyon, Mexican pinyon, smooth-bark Mexican pine, Arizona pine, the oaks Quercus castanea and Q. affinis. On the wetter slopes facing the ocean the most common trees are Mexican pinyon and Juniperus deppeana, while on the drier western slopes weeping pinyon is more common; the forests are home to a great variety of other flora including agave and traditional food plants. Mammals that inhabit this ecoregion include the American black bear, which migrate along the Rio Grande from northern Coahuila to the Chisos Mountains in Texas, mule deer, cliff chipmunk, collared peccary, white-nosed coati and coyote; the maroon-fronted parrot and Colima warbler are endemic to this ecoregion. Wild turkeys, peregrine falcons and golden eagle are resident. Pine-oak forests in Coahuila are part of the migration route of monarch butterflies.
List of ecoregions in Mexico List of ecoregions in the United States Conifers of Mexico World Wildlife Fund, ed.. "Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests". WildWorld Ecoregion Profile. National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 2010-03-08
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U. S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast. Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth largest in the U. S. while San Antonio is the second-most populous in the state and seventh largest in the U. S. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country, respectively. Other major cities include Austin, the second-most populous state capital in the U. S. and El Paso. Texas is nicknamed "The Lone Star State" to signify its former status as an independent republic, as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico; the "Lone Star" can be found on the Texan state seal.
The origin of Texas's name is from the word taysha. Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes common to both the U. S. Southern and Southwestern regions. Although Texas is popularly associated with the U. S. southwestern deserts, less than 10% of Texas's land area is desert. Most of the population centers are in areas of former prairies, grasslands and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, the desert and mountains of the Big Bend; the term "six flags over Texas" refers to several nations. Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845, Texas joined the union as the 28th state; the state's annexation set off a chain of events that led to the Mexican–American War in 1846.
A slave state before the American Civil War, Texas declared its secession from the U. S. in early 1861, joined the Confederate States of America on March 2nd of the same year. After the Civil War and the restoration of its representation in the federal government, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation. Four major industries shaped the Texas economy prior to World War II: cattle and bison, cotton and oil. Before and after the U. S. Civil War the cattle industry, which Texas came to dominate, was a major economic driver for the state, thus creating the traditional image of the Texas cowboy. In the 19th century cotton and lumber grew to be major industries as the cattle industry became less lucrative, it was though, the discovery of major petroleum deposits that initiated an economic boom which became the driving force behind the economy for much of the 20th century. With strong investments in universities, Texas developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century.
As of 2015, it is second on the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with 54. With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture, energy and electronics, biomedical sciences. Texas has led the U. S. in state export revenue since 2002, has the second-highest gross state product. If Texas were a sovereign state, it would be the 10th largest economy in the world; the name Texas, based on the Caddo word táyshaʼ "friend", was applied, in the spelling Tejas or Texas, by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves the Hasinai Confederacy, the final -s representing the Spanish plural. The Mission San Francisco de los Tejas was completed near the Hasinai village of Nabedaches in May 1690, in what is now Houston County, East Texas. During Spanish colonial rule, in the 18th century, the area was known as Nuevo Reino de Filipinas "New Kingdom of the Philippines", or as provincia de los Tejas "province of the Tejas" also provincia de Texas, "province of Texas", it was incorporated as provincia de Texas into the Mexican Empire in 1821, declared a republic in 1836.
The Royal Spanish Academy recognizes both spellings and Texas, as Spanish-language forms of the name of the U. S. State of Texas; the English pronunciation with /ks/ is unetymological, based in the value of the letter x in historical Spanish orthography. Alternative etymologies of the name advanced in the late 19th century connected the Spanish teja "rooftile", the plural tejas being used to designate indigenous Pueblo settlements. A 1760s map by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin shows a village named Teijas on Trinity River, close to the site of modern Crockett. Texas is the second-largest U. S. state, with an area of 268,820 square miles. Though 10% larger than France and twice as large as Germany or Japan, it ranks only 27th worldwide amongst country subdivisions by size. If it were an independent country, Texas would be the 40th largest behind Zambia. Texas is in the south central part of the United States of America. Three of its borders are defined by rivers; the Rio Grande forms a natural border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the south.
The Red River forms a natural border with Arkansas to the north. The Sabine River forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east; the Texas Panhandle has an eastern border with Oklahoma at 100° W, a northern border with Oklahoma at 36°30' N and a western
The Central Mexican Plateau known as the Mexican Altiplano, is a large arid-to-semiarid plateau that occupies much of northern and central Mexico. Averaging 1,825 m above sea level, it extends from the United States border in the north to the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt in the south, is bounded by the Sierra Madre Occidental and Sierra Madre Oriental to the west and east, respectively. A low east-west mountain range in the state of Zacatecas divides the plateau into northern and southern sections; these two sections, called the Northern Plateau and Central Plateau, are now regarded by geographers as sections of one plateau. The Mexican Plateau is covered by deserts and xeric shrublands, with pine-oak forests covering the surrounding mountain ranges and forming sky islands on some of the interior ranges; the Mexican Altiplano is one of six distinct physiographic sections of the Basin and Range Province, which in turn is part of the Intermontane Plateaus physiographic division. In phytogeography, the Sonoran Desert is within the Sonoran Floristic Province of the Madrean Region in southwestern North America, part of the Holarctic Kingdom of the northern Western Hemisphere.
While the plateau stretches from north to south, the southern east-west arc of the Central Mexican Plateau from Jalisco to Veracruz states as well as today has served as the population nexus of the Mexican nation, it is home to its biggest metro areas of Guadalajara, Querétaro, Mexico City, Toluca and Puebla. The Mesa del Norte or northern plateau averages 1,100 metres in elevation above mean sea level and extends south from the Rio Grande through the states of Chihuahua, Durango and San Luis Potosí. Various narrow, isolated ridges cross the Mesa del Norte and numerous depressions dot the region, the largest of, the Bolsón de Mapimí; the Río Bravo del Norte and its tributary, the Río Conchos, drain portions of the northern plateau, the Río Pánuco and its tributaries drain the southeastern corner. Both drain to the Gulf of Mexico. Much of the northern plateau comprises internal drainage basins; the Chihuahuan Desert extends across the northern portion of the northern plateau, while the Meseta Central matorral covers the central portion, the Central Mexican matorral extends from the southern portion of the northern plateau across the southern plateau.
The Mesa Central or southern plateau is higher than its northern counterpart, averaging 2,000 m in elevation. The southern plateau contains numerous valleys formed by ancient lakes, it extends across the states of Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, Querétaro, Michoacán. Several of Mexico's most prominent cities, including Guadalajara, are located in the valleys of the southern plateau. Much of the southern plateau is drained by the Río Grande de Santiago and its tributaries, including the Río Lerma, which drain west into the Pacific Ocean. Tributaries of the Río Pánuco drain the eastern portion of the southern plateau; the Central Mexican matorral covers much of the southern plateau, with the subtropical Bajío dry forests occupying the lower portions of the Lerma–Río Grande de Santiago basin. Higher altitudes are covered by Mixed Forests Temperate Coniferous Forests, up to the snow line in the top of the volcanoes that surround the southern and western edges; this article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/.
Ricketts, Taylor H. Eric Dinerstein, David M. Olson, Colby J. Loucks, et al.. Terrestrial Ecoregions of North America: a Conservation Assessment. Island Press, Washington DC. Mexican Plateau, Mexico City Region. Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA-Johnson Space Center. 18 Mar. 2005. Earth from Space - Image Information
The Guadalupe Mountains are a mountain range located in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. The range includes the highest summit in Texas, Guadalupe Peak, 8,751 ft, the "signature peak" of West Texas, El Capitan, both of which are located within Guadalupe Mountains National Park; the Guadalupe Mountains are bordered by the Pecos River valley and Llano Estacado to the east and north, Delaware Mountains to the south, Sacramento Mountains to the west. Archaeological evidence has shown that people lived over 10,000 years ago in and among the many caves and alcoves; the first humans to live here were hunter-gatherers who followed large game and collected edible vegetation. Artifacts that support this include projectile points, baskets and rock art; the first Europeans to arrive in the area were the Spaniards in the 16th century, but they did not make serious attempts to settle in the Guadalupe Mountains. The Spanish introduced horses into the area, nomadic indigenous tribes of the area such as the Apaches soon found horses to be an asset for hunting and migrating.
Mescalero Apaches were nomadic and harvested the agave for food and fiber. Mescalero is Spanish for mescal-maker. Agave-roasting pits and other artifacts of Mescalero culture can be found in the park; the Mescalero Apaches remained in the mountains through the mid-19th century, but they were challenged by an American transportation route at the end of the American Civil War. During the 1840s and 1850s, many people immigrating west crossed the area. In 1858, Pinery station was constructed near Pine Springs for the Butterfield Overland Mail; the Butterfield Overland Mail traveled over Guadalupe Pass located at 5,534 ft above sea level. A cavalry was known as the Buffalo Soldiers was ordered to the area to stop Indian raids on settlements and mail stage routes. During the winter of 1869, Lt. H. B. Cushing destroyed two Mescalero Apache camps; the Mescalero Apache were driven out of the area and into US Indian reservations. Felix McKittrick was one of the first European settlers in the Guadalupe Mountains.
McKittrick Canyon is thought to be named after him. Frijole Ranch was the first permanent ranch house. Frijole Ranch House was the only major building in the region. Today, the Frijole Ranch House operates as a cultural museum. In 1908, Williams Ranch House was built, it was named after one of its inhabitants, James Adolphus Williams. Judge J. C. Hunter from Van Horn consolidated most of the smaller ranches in the area into the Guadalupe Mountain Ranch. In 1921, Wallace Pratt, a geologist for Humble Oil and Refining Company, was impressed by the beauty of McKittrick Canyon and bought the land to build two homes in the canyon. Both constructions were used as summer homes by Pratt and his family until 1960. Wallace Pratt donated about 6,000 acres of McKittrick Canyon which became part of Guadalupe Mountains National Park; the Guadalupe Mountains reach their highest point at Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas, with an elevation of 8,751 feet. The range lies east of the Brokeoff Mountains; the mountain range extends north-northwest and northeast from Guadalupe Peak in Texas into New Mexico.
The northeastern extension ends about 10 miles southwest of Carlsbad, near White's City and Carlsbad Caverns National Park. The mountains rise more than 3,000 feet above the arid floor of the Chihuahuan Desert; the Guadalupe Mountains are surrounded by the South Plains to the east and north, Delaware Mountains to the south, Sacramento Mountains to the west. The northwestern extension, bounded by a dramatic escarpment known as "The Rim", extends much further into New Mexico, to near the Sacramento Mountains; the range is bounded on the north by Four Mile Canyon. Much of the range is built from the ancient Capitán Reef that formed at the margins of a shallow sea during the Permian period; the Guadalupian epoch of the Permian period is named for these mountains, the Capitanian age within this epoch is named for the Capitan reef. For details on the area's geology, see Delaware Basin; as the range is built up entirely of limestone, upland areas have little or no surface water. The only significant surface water is McKittrick Creek, in McKittrick Canyon, which emerges from the eastern side of the massif, just south of the New Mexico border.
Elevations at the base of the range vary from 4,000 feet above sea level on the western side to 5,000 feet on the east. Several peaks on the southern end exceed 8,000 feet; the Guadalupe Mountains experience hot summers, mild autumn weather, cool to cold weather in winter and early spring. Snow storms, freezing rain, or fog may occur in early spring. Frequent high-wind warnings are issued during winter through spring. Late summer monsoons produce thunderstorms; the nights are cool in summer. Three major ecosystems are contained within the mountain range. First, deserts exhibit salt flats on the western side of the national park and creosote desert, with low elevations on the east covered with grassland, pinyon pine, junipers such as alligator juniper and one-seeded juniper. Secondly, canyon interiors such as McKittrick and Pine Springs Canyon on the southeast end exhibit map